School fees at 932 private schools across the Kingdom will be hiked up to 20 percent after the Ministry of Education approved a request for the rises, it was reported.
Director of private and international schools in the ministry Mohammed Eid Al Otaibi told Al Madinah newspaper that about half of the Sultanate’s 3,940 private schools asked to increase their tuition fees.
However, the Ministry approved only 21 percent of the requests.
“For the other schools approval will be given only when they nationalize their staff and increase their salaries,” he said, according to a report published in the Saudi Gazette.
Al Otaibi denied reports some private schools had increased their fees by 100 percent.
“This is incorrect,” he said. “The rises ranged from 5 to 20 percent.”
Mansour Al Khinaizan, chairman of the National Committee for Private and International Education at the Saudi Council of Chambers, said there was no mechanism to classify private schools or determine their fees.
“The school fees should be determined by a royal decree because the private schools do not heed or apply the decisions issued by the ministry,” he said.
However, he conceded school owners would sue the Ministry of Education if it tried to fix their tuition fees.
Chairman of the private schools committee at the Saudi Council of Chambers Abdulrahman Al Haqbani said schools did not increase their fees to make more profit but to meet rising costs, especially the high salaries of Saudi teachers.
Any private school that increased its tuition fees without the Ministry’s permission should be reprimanded, he said.